Why Won’t My Dishwasher Turn On?

Finding out your dishwasher has stopped working is never going to be the best part of your day, particularly if you are also faced with the expense of calling out a repair person as well as staying home to meet them just to determine the issue.

The good news is it’s often easy to pinpoint and often sort out a number of dishwasher problems alone without needing to call for dishwasher repair, particularly if you have a multimeter.

You might discover you are able to fix the issue quite easily alone, particularly if you are mechanically minded, and if not at worst you will have a better idea of the issue when you eventually do phone a repair man.

Things To Do If Your Dishwasher Won’t Turn on

In advance of searching for a replacement dishwasher there are a few possible problems you can troubleshoot without too much issue.

Safety Warning: Never attempt repairs while your dishwasher is plugged in.

Common Dishwasher Issues That Will Stop Your Dishwasher From Starting

Before you start going through the following list of potential problems make sure that your machine hasn’t been switched off, plus that there are no tripped switches in the circuit breaker.

This is also a good time to see if the child lock hasn’t been activated as well as try resetting your machine.

You will often need the user manual for this due to the fact that machines vary however the child lock is often fairly easy to engage inadvertently. Similarly, the machine may have power however will not run, in this case the answer could be as easy as resetting the program.

Once you have ruled out these problems you can start the real troubleshooting.

    1. Investigate the door latch or door latch switch.
    2. Examine the timer.
    3. Examine the selector switch.
    4. Check the motor relay.
    5. Test the thermal fuse.
    6. Examine the drive motor.

To test these parts you will have to have a multimeter, or VOM (volt-ohm-milliammeter) to measure the resistance plus check the components are working as they are meant to.

Examining the Door Latch and Door Latch Switch

The initial thing to check is the door latches plus door latch switches. Your dishwasher is not designed to run if the door latches are broken for understandable reasons. There’s no way you would want begin the machine without meaning to with the door open.

A faulty switch will stop your machine from turning on and operating. You should test the switch using a multimeter. The switch will usually be located under the front door panel or control panel.

Make sure the machine is unplugged before removing the door panel as well as checking for continuity to prevent yourself from getting an electric shock.

If you discover the latches or switches are broken you will need to replace them.

Checking the Timer

If the door latch and door latch switch, are working as they are meant to the next thing to test is the timer or electronic control.

This is the part of the machine that distributes electricity to all the different electrical components the machine requires to operate such as the pumps, and the valves.

If your machine is controlled electronically as opposed to mechanically then it could have to be tested while plugged in, in which case you will need to call an engineer.

Checking the Selector Switch

The selector switch is the part of the dishwasher that selects the program and will vary contingent on the make as well as the model of your machine. A faulty selector switch or one that has got stuck could cause the dishwasher not to start.

You can usually visually check to see if the buttons are depressing fully, or you could have to unplug the machine in order to access the control panel to test the contact points for continuity with the help of a multimeter.

Checking the Motor Relay

The motor relay is an alternative part that can cause your machine not to run, thus this could be the fault if you have checked the control panel and so have ascertained that there is power running to the motor.

To check this you need to gain access to the motor and find the relay that will usually be located next to the motor. This may then be taken out plus checked with a multimeter and you may have to replace it.

Examining the Thermal Fuse

If you have investigated the above issues and are still looking for the issue the next part to investigate is the thermal fuse. This will only be found on some models and is designed to stop the control board overheating.

If it will need to be replaced in order to restore power to the control board.

Testing the Drive Motor

The final component you should be able to investigate that might stop your machine from working is the drive motor. This is the component that circulates the water to wash your dishes.

When you have tested the other components but still aren’t getting anywhere this may be the cause of the problem particularly if you noticed a loud humming coming from the machine.

You can usually gain access to the motor by removing the panel at the bottom of the machine. Test it using a multimeter then replace if not working.

When to Get in Touch With a Professional

If you don’t have a multimeter and are not confident in taking panels off your machine and testing the parts then you will need to call a repair person.

If you do have a multimeter and can perform the above tests then you may well be able to resolve the issue without needing a professional. But if you are not sure it might be easier to contact an engineer.

Don’t forget to check your warranty and your home cover as appliance repairs might be included which means the expense could be less than you were expecting.

More Dishwasher Problems:

  • Dishwasher Being Loud
  • Dishwasher Leaking
  • Dishwasher Not Draining
  • Dishwasher Not Drying
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